10 things we loved this weekend: Guardiola, Bale, Dybala, Balotelli…

Quick Reads

Interesting tactical insight from Manchester City’s manager, plus a hat-trick in another gorgeous Juventus shirt and Gareth Bale appearing back to his best for Real Madrid were among the things we loved from this weekend’s actions.

Pep Guardiola

Three games in a week. Three wins. Fifteen goals scored. Zero against. You can’t really argue with that?

Also, fair play to Guardiola offering some interesting tactical insight on the importance of full-backs to his side.

“They have huge energy to go up and it stretches our play and means we can have more players in the middle to do the short passes,” he said.

“I like our passes to be three, four, five or six metres, no more than that. It gives us continuity. We create spaces in behind and you need players in those positions. Without these signings it would have been more complicated.”

We like happy Pep.

• • • •

Gareth Bale

No, he’s not joining Manchester United. He’s really not. He is being brilliant for Real Madrid, though.

Gareth Bale displayed his inner roadrunner against Real Sociedad, clocking a speed of 35km/h as he sprinted 73 metres to score. For those of you who like to measure speed using the imperial system, that’s very f*cking fast.

Paulo Dybala

Ten goals in five starts for Paulo Dybala this season after his hat-trick fired Juventus to a 3-1 victory over Sassuolo. Two things about this though:

1) That Juventus away kit. Bloody hell.

2) That toe-poked second goal. Ronaldinho would be proud of that.


Mario Balotelli

All the attention in France might be on Neymar and co. at PSG, but everyone’s favourite footballer, Mario Balotelli, continued his impressive start to the season with a thunderous goal for Nice.

Super Mario rifled the ball home at the near post to fire Nice to a 1-0 win at Rennes – his fourth goal in four appearances this season.

Kenny Tete

Sticking in France, Neymar grabbed more headlines after arguing with Edinson Cavani over who could take a penalty against Lyon – the Uruguayan won only to miss the spot kick, though PSG still won thanks to two own goals.

We want to give a shout out to 21-year-old Kenny Tete, however, for this piece of impeccable defending when facing up to Neymar in a one-on-one situation.

Most expensive player in history? Pah, easy. (We’re also all for more footballers being called Kenny.)

Radamel Falcao

A final note from Ligue 1 and a reminder of just how bloody good Radamel Falcao is for Monaco.

The striker has already scored nine goals this season – he’s only actually had 10 shots on target.

Falcao’s renaissance over the last 18 months has been one of the best sights in football. Long may it continue.

FC Cologne

We love their fans and now we love their social media department for the following response to being beaten 5-0 by Borussia Dortmund…

Paddy McCourt

There’s a reason they call Paddy McCourt ‘the Derry Pele’…

Atletico Madrid

This is like something straight out of Mike Bassett: England Manager.

Keith Curle

The life of a football manager must be incredibly hard, especially judging by Keith Curle’s comments following Carlisle’s 1-1 draw with Barnet.

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